Late Barrister A. R. Antulay Ex-Chief Minister, Govt. of Maharashtra, Ex-Minister for Health and Minority Affairs, Govt. of India established Vasantrao Naik College of Arts and Commerce, Mhasala in the year 1990. Mhasala Taluka in Raigad District is situated in rural hilly region. The college started the Science Stream under the name of Late Barrister A. R. Antulay in the academic year 2016-2017, as Barrister A. R. Antulay Science College & Post Graduation Programme in Advanced Accountancy. He started another college at Murud – Janjira in district Raigad, under the name of Vasantrao Naik College of Arts & Commerce in 1992.
Barrister A. R. Antulay was born to Hafiz Abdul Gafoor and Mrs. Zohrabi in Ambet village on 9 February 1929. He was Married to Nargis Antulay, the couple have one son and three daughters. After graduating with B.A. (Hons) from Bombay University, he pursued Barrister-At-Law at Lincoln’s Inn, London.
He started his career as an active social worker in 1945 and joined the Congress party. As a social worker his notable achievements include construction of a jetty on the bank of Savitri river, Bankot (Khadi) Creek through local people offering free labor (shramdan in Marathi) to complete the task. He also worked with his own hands along with the villagers of Ambet; and road between the village Ambet and Lonere Goregaon (then in Kolaba, now in Raigad district) to connect his village to NH-17.
He was a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from 1962 to 1976, during which time he served in the Maharashtra state government as Minister of State for Law and Judiciary, Ports and Fisheries and then as Minister of Law & Judiciary, Building, Communication and Housing from October 1969 to February 1976.
He was the President of Anjuman-I-Islam, Mumbai from 1975 to 1976. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1976 to 1980. In 1980 he was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha in 1985 to 1989. He was re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha in 1991. From June 1995 to May 1996, he was Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, and from January 1995 to May 1996 he was additionally in charge of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
In 1996 he was re-elected to the 11th Lok Sabha, and in 2004 he was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha. He was a Union Minister for Ministry of Minority Affairs (India) under Manmohan Singh’s government between 29th January 2006 to 19th January 2009. He was Member of Indian Parliament for Kolaba between 1989 to 1998 and 2004 to 2009.
He was a Union Minister for Minority Affairs and a Member of Parliament in the 14th Lok Sabha of India and was the first Muslim Chief Minister of the State of Maharashtra.
He had a keen interest in the uplifting of the weaker sections of the society and as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra had launched Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana (a monthly financial aid scheme for poor and destitute), pension and housing facilities for legislators and media persons, and many more initiatives. He had also announced that he would get back the Bhawani sword — the sword used by The Iconic Maratha King Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj which now lies in the British Museum in London.
Barrister A.R. Antulay is acknowledged as “an administrator par excellence”, whose heart always beat for the poor and downtrodden. He was a truly great human being who has relentlessly worked for the benefit of the poorest of the poor in the society. He was always amiable and soft-spoken, never harboring animosity or ill-will against anybody.
He has also published several books:
Barrister A.R. Antulay died from chronic kidney failure and left this world for his heavenly abode on 2nd December 2014 while being treated at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.